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The US military is shutting down a conspiracy-filled research facility

A US military research facility long at the center of conspiracy theories will be dismantled and shut down this summer, if all goes according to plan. HAARP, an acronym for High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, has been implicated in everything from mind control to extreme weather like hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and tornados since the project’s origins in the early ’90s. In 2010, for instance, former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told the UN that the facility was responsible for devastating floods in Pakistan. But scientists have always waved off such claims as completely ludicrous.

Can a facility that has inspired global conspiracy theories be designated a World Heritage Site? If so, that might be the only way to prevent the shutdown of the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) in Alaska, which studies the ionosphere—or creates lethal hurricanes—depending on whom you talk to. The HAARP installation, not unlike the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, is a peculiar hybrid of military and civilian science. It was conceived during the mid-1980s, but found itself without a clear mission by the time construction began in 1993 and the Cold War had ended. Jointly funded by the Air Force, Navy, DARPA and the University of Alaska, the $290 million facility’s principal instrument is an array of 180 crossed dipoles that are spaced over an area of about 30 acres. Collectively, the array can transmit up to 3,600 kW of radiated power, which has made it possible for scientists to study the basic physics of how charged particles behave in the ionosphere, 55 to 370 miles above the Earth.

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Written by Brian Molidor

Brian Molidor is Editor at Social News Watch. Find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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